This fall more than 200 biotech CEOs from 25 different countries will attend the 17th Annual BIO Investor Forum (BIF) in San Francisco with the specific goal of connecting with partners to make the deals that drive our industry. The premier event for emerging private and public companies, BIF will likely draw upwards of 300 qualified investors looking to forge long-lasting partnerships with potential to shape the future of healthcare.
Much of the event’s success can be traced to the seasoned group of Advisory Committee members—some of the best and brightest in the industry—who guide the program development by thoroughly evaluating proposed panel sessions, suggesting subject-matter expert speakers, nominating companies to present, and promoting the event to their vast networks.
This year’s list of 27 advisors are actively engaged in the latest breakthroughs of the industry. Half of the group are female reflecting BIO’s mission to promote workforce development, diversity and inclusion. Working with BIO staff, the committee will recruit nearly 200 of the hottest start-ups and emerging companies to give 15-minute presentations (last year’s list of presenters can be found here). To round out BIF programming, the committee seeks to get the pulse on the latest life science investment trends from sophisticated and active early-stage investment and company executives to develop a dozen candid panel discussions with leading clinical experts and investigators with insights on pipeline research and clinical practice.
The positive investment climate bodes well for this year’s conference. As the biopharma industry has gained traction on new drug approvals through Q2 2018, the financial dollars have followed suit. According to BioWorld Insight, at this point in 2017 the biotech industry had raised $19.1 billion from public and private offerings. In 2018, that figure has more than doubled to $39.2 billion. With 20 new molecular entities (NMEs) approved, the industry in on pace to match last year’s high mark of 46 approvals, a number that hasn’t been seen since 1996 when 53 new medicines were approved. The transactional value of deals signed in 2018 has also climbed nearly 50 percent higher to $49 billion, compared with the $33 billion from last year. Oncology, specifically the early-stage pipeline, continues to have a strong presence with biopharma companies with 30 percent of partnerships in Q2 involving cancer-focused developments.
Partnerships remain a vital option for companies looking to mitigate risk with small up-front payments and profitable downstream successes due to the volatility of the current administration and the subsequent financial climate. However, while the value of biopharma deals has climbed sharply through Q2 2018, the volume of deals is down almost 10 percent (615 in 2017; 554 in 2018). This means that while more financial capital is flowing into the biopharma industry, it is being spread over fewer clinical indications, making it even more imperative for investors to find the right corporate partners for deal success. This is where the BIO Investor Forum comes in.
BIO meticulously reviews the qualifications of each company and investor to ensure high-quality interactions during the two-day event. These reviews, for example on the investor-side, begin with the foundation of a comprehensive investor policy that involves assessing the organization type, position title, value of assets under management in the industry, and even specific deals within their respective life science portfolios. This year’s event will attract investors from over 50 funds with more than $1B assets under management; over 120 funds specializing in Angel/Series A placements; and over 20 funds from outside the U.S. While a complete 2018 list is not available yet, this 2017 list is an indication of the exceptional talent participating in the event.
Attendees can take advantage of BIO’s One-on-One Partnering™ system to connect to the right people at the event. It schedules meetings that might otherwise take weeks to arrange. Last year 2,760 individual meetings were held over two days. Participants can search company and investor profiles, evaluate potential collaborations and funding opportunities with participating companies, communicate directly with prospective investors and senior business and scientific management, and pre-schedule private business development meetings.
Ultimately, all this tireless effort for a unique event is designed to accelerate growth within the biopharma industry, catering to entities early in their lifecycle and stakeholders looking to support them and get more innovative treatments to helping patients sooner. Qualified investors attend for free.